ROXANA — Roxana high school student Luke Curtis took a leap of faith and signed a letter of intent to attend and play football for the Missouri Baptist Spartans on Feb. 17.
Missouri Baptist University announced in May of 2013 that the football program was officially accepted into the Mid-States Football Association along with Lindenwood University-Belleville and would begin competing in conference action as part of the Midwest League in the fall of 2014.
"I've loved playing football with my friends," Curtis said. "This is a good opportunity to start with a new program and get an education while having the chance to play football after high school. I couldn't pass on the chance to keep playing football and it's still close to home."
Curtis will live on the Missouri Baptist campus in St. Louis and attend classes for criminal justice.
"I'm going for my criminal justice degree," Curtis said. "I'm really hoping to do more with it like apply to be a marshall or work with the FBI. I want to work on the federal level."
Curtis led the Shells on defense in the 2014 season with 93 total tackles, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions, four sacks and one touchdown.
"Luke has been a great player for us," Roxana head coach Pat Keith said. "He was a three-year starter and led the team on defense. His career numbers are really good. He will leave a big hole to fill on our defensive line."
Curtis leaves Roxana with 214 tackles, 126 solo and 88 assists. He had seven sacks, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions and one career touchdown off an interception.
Missouri Baptist is a part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and looks forward to a long relationship in college football.